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Designation: D 3301 – 00

Standard Specification for


File Folders for Storage of Permanent Records1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation D 3301; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.

1. Scope D 2176 Test Method for Folding Endurance of Paper by the


1.1 This specification covers file folders used in the storage M.I.T. Tester3
of records and documents that are expected to have maximum, D 3424 Test Methods for Evaluating the Lightfastness and
or substantial, life expectancy. Weatherability of Printed Matter4
1.2 It has been shown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)2 that the life expectancy D 4714 Test Method for Determination of Effect of Moist
of paper is at least an approximate function of the pH of an Heat (50 % Relative Humidity and 90°C) on Properties of
aqueous extract of the paper. Three pH levels, reflecting three Paper and Board3
levels of life expectancy, are specified. D 4988 Test Method for Determination of Calcium Carbon-
1.3 The following would be expected to contribute signifi- ate Content (Alkaline Reserve of Paper)3
cantly to the life and usefulness of folders: the use of folders D 5625 Test Method for Measuring Length, Width, and
with controlled acidity, or of folders manufactured under Squareness of Sheeted Paper and Paper Products3
neutral or alkaline conditions, especially with an alkaline filler, D 5634 Guide for the Selection of Permanent and Durable
such as calcium carbonate, that absorbs acidic gases from the Offset and Book Papers3
atmosphere and can neutralize acidic materials formed during 2.2 TAPPI Standards:
aging. T 236 Kappa Number of Pulp5
1.4 This specification is based on fiber sources used in the T 400 Sampling and Accepting a Single Lot of Paper,
production of paper that contains no more than 1 % lignin, for Paperboard, Fiberboard, or Related Product5
papers used in archives, libraries, and other permanent records. T 401 Fiber Analysis of Paper and Paperboard5
However, under proper conditions, (see X1.5), fiber sources T 410 Grammage of Paper and Paperboard (Weight Per
containing more than 1 % lignin may be employed for many Unit Area)5
other end uses in paper for records that are required to have a T 411 Thickness (Caliper) of Paper and Paperboard5
substantial life expectancy. T 412 Moisture in Paper5
1.5 As indicated in Appendix X1.4 and X1.5, this specifi- T 414 Internal Tearing Resistance of Paper5
cation may be used as a guide. T 452 Brightness of Pulp, Paper and Paperboard (Direc-
tional Reflectance at 457 nm)5
2. Referenced Documents T 489 Stiffness of Paper and Paperboard (Taber-type
2.1 ASTM Standards: Stiffness Tester)5
D 585 Practice for Sampling and Accepting a Single Lot of T 509 Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH) of Paper
Paper, Paperboard, Fiberboard, or Related Products3 Extracts—Cold Extraction Method5
D 644 Test Method for Moisture Content of Paper and T 511 Folding Endurance of Paper (MIT Tester)5
Paperboard by Oven Drying3 T 544 Effect of Moist Heat on Properties of Paper and
D 646 Test Method for Grammage of Paper and Paperboard Board5
(Weight per Unit Area)3 2.3 ANSI Standard:
D 1030 Test Method for Fiber Analysis of Paper and Paper- IT9.16 American National Standard for Imaging Media—
board3 Photographic Activity Test6
D 1968 Terminology Relating to Paper and Paper Products3 2.4 ISO Standard:
ISO 9706 Paper for Documents—Specifications for
Permanence—Normative Annex—Special instructions for
1
This specification is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D-6 on Paper determining kappa number6
and Paper Products and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee D06.20 on
Permanent Records and Papers.
4
Current edition approved March 10, 2000. Published May 2000. Originally Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 06.02.
5
published as D 3301 – 74. Last previous edition D 3301 – 94. Available from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Box
2
The boldface numbers in parentheses refer to the list of references at the end of 105113, Technology Park, Atlanta, GA 30348.
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this specification. Available from The American National Standards Institute, 11 W. 42nd St., 13th
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Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 15.09. Floor, New York, NY 10036.

Copyright © ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, United States.

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D 3301
3. Terminology years for the life expectancy of paper, under prescribed
3.1 Definitions—Terms used in this Specification are de- conditions, primarily for records.
fined in accordance with Terminology D 1968. 3.2.3.2 maximum life expectancy, LE 1000, n—for paper,
3.1.1 acid-sized paper, n—paper, or paper product, that has the document is expected to be usable for 1000 years under
been manufactured using a procedure or process at pH values prescribed conditions.
below 7 (usually from 4.0 to 6.5) that results in paper that has 3.2.3.3 high life expectancy, LE 100, n—for paper, the
resistance to water penetration. document is expected to be usable for 100 years under
3.1.2 alkaline-filled paper, n—a paper containing an alka- prescribed conditions.
line filler, such as calcium carbonate, having a pH value in 3.2.3.4 medium life expectancy, LE 50, n—for paper, the
excess of 7 (extract pH usually in the range from 7.5 to 10.0), document is expected to be usable for 50 years under pre-
and containing a reserve buffering capacity that can neutralize scribed conditions.
acidic materials in the paper or acidic gases sorbed from the 3.2.3.5 Discussion—These terms in 3.2.3 were developed
atmosphere. for records and records substrates. One could substitute the
3.1.3 alkaline-sized paper, n—paper or paper product that word “folder” for the word “document” in this situation.
has been manufactured using a procedure or process at a pH 3.2.4 paper with a minimum pH value, n—as the life
value above 7 (usually from 7.5 to 10.0) that results in a paper expectancy of paper is an approximate function of pH, one
that has resistance to liquid penetration. approach to describing a permanent paper is to specify a
3.1.4 base paper, n—the fiber network existent prior to the minimum pH value, for example, 5.5. This value can be
application of any material onto the surface of that fiber achieved with a rosin-alum sizing system.
network. 3.2.5 permanence, n— of paper, the tendency to resist
3.1.4.1 Discussion—An example is paper, internally sized changes in any or all of its properties with the passage of time.
in preparation for a coating or surface size operation. 3.2.5.1 Discussion—It is expected that the terms maximum,
3.1.5 folder stock, n—a paperboard used for the manufac- high, and medium permanence eventually will be replaced with
ture of folders for filing purposes. maximum, high, and medium life expectancy, or with the LE
3.1.5.1 Discussion—It usually is made of wood pulp and designations LE-1000, LE-100, and LE-50.
reclaimed paperstock, although some grades are made from 4. Significance and Use
rope or jute stock. It may be surface sized to provide better
wearing qualities. It is characterized by high values for tearing 4.1 The only completely valid way to check the life expect-
resistance, stiffness, and folding endurance. ancy of paper, or a paper product, is to store it under the
3.1.6 neutral sized paper, n—paper that has been manufac- relevant conditions for its expected lifetime, perhaps several
tured using a procedure or process at a pH value of 7 (with a hundred years. As this is not feasible, one must rely on
normal range from 6.5 to 7.5) that results in a paper that has observations made on old materials, and on our current
resistance to water penetration. knowledge of factors, in terms of paper properties and paper
3.1.7 tag board, n—a paperboard used for shipping tags, file composition, that increase life expectancy. Accelerated aging
folders, printed forms, envelopes, etc. also may be used.
3.1.7.1 Discussion—It is made from rope, jute, chemical 4.2 In this specification, requirements are given in terms of
wood pulp or mechanical wood pulp, or combinations of these. the following:
It usually has a manila color and a smooth finish. It is 4.2.1 Physical tests to identify potential durability in ser-
characterized by high values for folding endurance, bursting vice,
strength, tensile strength, tearing resistance, and water finish. 4.2.2 Tests related to composition of the folder that are
3.2 Definitions of Terms Specific to This Standard: indicative of stability,
3.2.1 durability, n—of paper, the capacity of paper or 4.2.2.1 For maximum life expectancy, the presence of an
paperboard to resist the effects of wear in performance situa- alkaline filler, such as calcium carbonate, to serve as a
tions. buffering agent,
3.2.1.1 Discussion—Durability should not be used inter- 4.2.2.2 Fiber analysis, or a certificate from the supplier
changeably with permanence. For example, paper money concerning fiber composition, and
should be durable, but maximum permanence is not essential. 4.2.2.3 A test for pH, within the limits described in 7.2.4.
3.2.2 high-usage, adj—in paper folders, descriptive of any 4.3 Folders with neutral or alkaline pH generally are stable.
grade of paper designed for use in situations involving frequent However, an acid folder may have been treated with a surface
handling. size containing enough calcium carbonate to give an alkaline
3.2.3 life expectancy7 , LE, n—for paper, length of time a extract pH. An acid folder may be coated with a formulation
product can be expected to maintain its functional, that is, containing calcium carbonate, although folders seldom are
physical, chemical, appearance and so forth, characteristics coated. In cases of uncertainty, the supplier should provide an
when stored under prescribed conditions. affidavit concerning the extract pH of the base folder.
3.2.3.1 LE designation, n—for paper records, a rating in 4.4 An optional accelerated aging procedure is described in
X1.3.

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5. Classification Types
Adapted from American National Standards Institute Committee IT9.1, ap-
proved December 1991. 5.1 Three types of file folder stock are described, according

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D 3301
to life expectancy level. These life expectancy levels are an alkaline surface size, or alkaline coating, has been applied.
differentiated by pH and type of filler or sizing, or both. For The manufacturer should furnish an affidavit that the pH of the
situations where the folders will be handled frequently the base paper conforms to the limits set forth. The pH test is valid
grade is specified as “high usage.” A higher folding endurance if the analyst can be ensured that the folder does not have an
requirement is specified for this category, and the purchaser alkaline surface size or an alkaline coating. The accelerated
may wish to specify all or part cotton or fully bleached wood aging procedure, as described in X1.3 may be used as an
pulp, or a mixture. indicator of stability.
5.2 Type I, Maximum Life Expectancy, LE-1000— 7.3 Filler—Type I folder shall contain an alkaline filler such
Neutral or alkaline-sized folder stock made with an alkaline as calcium carbonate. The minimum shall be 2 %, calculated as
filler, such as calcium carbonate, which will give an extract pH calcium carbonate and based on the oven-dry weight of the
usually in the range from 7.5 to 10.0. finished paper. Test for the presence and amount of carbonate
5.2.1 Grade 1—Ordinary use. in accordance with Test Method D 4988.
5.2.2 Grade 2—High usage.
5.3 Type II, High Life Expectancy, LE-100—Neutral or 8. Physical Properties
alkaline-sized folder stock with an extract pH usually in the 8.1 Grammage (Weight per Unit Area)—Use Test Method
range from 6.5 to 7.5. D 646 or TAPPI T 410. Weight per unit area is not a require-
5.3.1 Grade 1—Ordinary use. ment of this specification, but for convenience, the nominal
5.3.2 Grade 2—High usage. weights per unit area are given in Table 1 for the various
5.4 Type III, Medium Life Expectancy, LE-50—Folder stock nominal thicknesses specified.
with a minimum extract pH of 5.5. 8.2 Thickness—Use TAPPI T 411. Thickness shall be ex-
5.4.1 Grade 1—Ordinary use. pressed as micrometres (1 3 10−6 m) or as mils (1 3 10 −3 in.).
5.4.2 Grade 2—High useage. The average thickness normally will be within the ranges given
in Table 1. The variation of test unit averages within a shipment
6. Ordering Information (or lot) shall be not more than 5 % above or below the average
6.1 Orders shall specify type and grade, dimensions, color, value.
and, if necessary, folder stock, and printing requirements. 8.3 Internal Tearing Resistance—Use TAPPI T 414. The
average internal tearing resistance in each direction shall be not
7. Composition and Chemical Requirements less than the values given in Table 1 for various nominal
7.1 Fiber Analysis, (see Test Method D 1030)—The paper thicknesses of file folder stock.
shall be made from cotton, linen, or fully bleached chemical 8.4 Folding Endurance—The minimum folding endurance
pulp. Virgin or recycled fiber may be used in any proportion as for Grade 1 folder stock, average of weaker direction, and for
agreed upon between the buyer and the seller at the time of Grade II folder stock, average of weaker direction, are given in
purchase, as long as the paper meets the requirements of this Table 1.
specification. The kappa number (from ISO 9706) shall not 8.5 Color—The folders shall be white or colored and the
exceed five. hue shall be as specified at the time of purchase.
7.2 Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH) Cold Extraction—
See TAPPI T 509. 9. Dimensions, Trim, and Grain
7.2.1 Type I, Maximum Life Expectancy, LE-1000—7.5 to 9.1 Dimensions and Trim—The folders shall be furnished in
10.0. the size, or sizes, specified at the time of purchase. The folders
7.2.2 Type II, High Life Expectancy, LE-100—6.5 to 7.5. shall not be undersize, shall not be more than 1/16-in (1.6-mm)
7.2.3 Type III, Medium Life Expectancy, LE-50— oversize in either direction, and shall be trimmed square. If
Minimum 5.5. squareness is especially important, tolerances shall be specified
7.2.4 Some folders may have been given an alkaline surface by the purchaser. Dimensions and trim shall be measured by
size or an alkaline coating. The base paper of these folders may Test Method D 5625.
be acid and, therefore, of questionable stability, but would 9.2 Grain—The folder stock shall be supplied grain long or
exhibit an alkaline extract pH. There is no known procedure for grain short at the option of the seller, unless otherwise specified
measuring the extract pH of the base paper of a paper to which by the buyer.

TABLE 1 Requirements for File Folders for Storage of Permanent Records


Folding Endurance, MIT (Double Fold) 1
Nominal Weight Per Unit Tearing Resistance kg, min
Nominal Thickness, µmA Thickness Range,
AreaB (Basis Weight),
(mil) µm (mil) Grade I Average in Grade II Average in
g/m2(lb)C min, gf min, mN
Weaker Direction Weaker Direction
200 (8) 180 (110) 190 to 210 (7.6 to 8.4) 180 1775 300 500
240 (9.5) 210 (130) 230 to 250 (9.0 to 10.0) 260 2550 300 500
280 (11) 235 (145) 260 to 300 (10.5 to 11.5) 340 3325 300 500
260 (14) 295 (180) 340 to 380 (13.3 to 14.7) 500 4900 300 500
A
To the nearest 10 µm.
B
Weight per unit area is not a requirement of this specification.
C
Basis weight = 24 3 36-500.

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D 3301
10. Additional Requirements 12. Inspection
10.1 Sizing—The folder stock shall be internally sized and 12.1 Inspection of the folders shall be agreed upon between
surface sized so that it shall be suitable for the intended the buyer and the seller as part of the purchase contract.
purpose, as indicated by the purchaser.
10.2 Printing Properties—If the folders are to be used in a 13. Certification
printing process, a stipulation that the folder be suitable for this 13.1 Upon request of the buyer, a manufacturer’s certifica-
purpose shall be included in the requirements. tion that the folder stock was manufactured and tested in
10.3 Erasing Quality— If erasing quality is important to the accordance with this specification, together with a report of the
buyer, it shall be evaluated as follows: Visible feathering shall test results, shall be furnished at the time of shipment.
not be apparent after the folder has been written on with 13.2 Test results obtained by both the buyer and the seller
aqueous ink, erased, and written on again in the erased area shall be made available, upon request, to either party.
with aqueous ink. 13.3 As the extract pH of a folder would be influenced by an
10.4 Finish—The finish of file folder stock is important to alkaline surface size or by an alkaline coating, it is desirable to
durability, but a requirement has not been developed. The request an affidavit from the manufacturer that the extract pH
purchaser might wish to specify a finish suitable for the specific of the base paper conforms to the limits specified in 7.2.
end use.
10.5 Stiffness—If stiffness is important to the purchaser, a 14. Packaging and Marking
minimum stiffness value determined by TAPPI T 489 should
be agreed upon between the buyer and the seller. 14.1 The folders shall be packaged, wrapped, and securely
10.6 Photoactivity— If the folders are to be used for storing sealed, or packaged in boxes or cartons, in order to provide
photographs, they should pass the photographic activity test adequate protection during shipment and storage. Each pack-
described in ANSI IT9.16. age shall be marked to show the type of paper, quantity, color,
10.7 Lighfastness— If lightfastness is of concern to the size, basis weight (weight per unit area), and the name of the
purchaser, use Test Method D 3424, Procedures 3 and 7, as manufacturer.
agreed upon between the buyer and the seller. 14.2 Packaging in exterior containers for shipment shall be
adequate to avoid damage during shipment and storage.
11. Sampling
11.1 The shipment shall be sampled in accordance with 15. Keywords
Practice D 585, using Plan II for all properties, or TAPPI 15.1 file folders; life expectancy; maximum life expectancy;
T 400. permanent file folders

APPENDIX

(Nonmandatory Information)

X1. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

X1.1 As there are many variables in the manufacture of been correlated with pH. Barrow (1) has shown that the
paper and paper products and in the use and storage of records, condition of naturally aged paper definitely is a function of pH.
it is impossible to place definitive values on the number of Manifold papers in U.S. Government files with pH values as
years that various categories of paper products and records will low as 4.2 have survived over 60 years (5), and the physical
endure. It has been established that the rates of both natural and properties of these papers are an approximate function of pH.
accelerated aging are approximate functions of the pH of the A minimum pH of 5.5 should ensure longevity of 50 years or
paper. The following information may be used as guidance. more.
X1.1.1 Type I Papers, Maximum Life Expectancy, LE-
X1.2 Papers containing cotton or linen, or both, are
1000—Machine-made papers with an alkaline filler have
considered to be more durable than wood pulp papers. As both
existed, apparently with little change, for 100 years. Handmade
rag and wood pulp papers may cover a broad spectrum of life
papers containing an alkaline filler have survived for almost
expectancy and durability, generalizations on the basis of fiber
400 years (6). Acid papers have survived this long, but their content alone are not useful. Cotton linters are not as strong as
condition is, relatively speaking, not as good, and is a function cotton fiber.
of acidity.
X1.1.2 Type II Papers, High Life Expectancy, LE-100—The X1.3 During the development of Guide D 5634, and during
probable life expectancy of these papers should lie somewhere the development of a National Information Standards Organi-
between the life expectancy Type I and Type III papers. zation (NISO) standard for permanent paper, about 60 papers
X1.1.3 Type III Papers, Medium Life Expectancy, LE-50— were aged for 12 days at 90°C and 50 % relative humidity (Test
The relative condition of paper in old books and documents has Method D 4714, TAPPI T 544). The selection of percent

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D 3301
retention values after aging for various levels of life expect- ties of papers containing substantial quantities of lignin do not
ancy is subjective, but enough information is available to make change appreciably during accelerated aging in a moist atmo-
this approach attractive. The retention of tensile energy absorp- sphere.
tion, and of tearing strength, after aging for 12 days at 90°C
X1.5.1 There are many other end uses where alkaline papers
and 50 % relative humidity should be 90 % or higher for
with alkaline size and containing an alkaline filler and substan-
maximum life expectancy, about 80 % or higher for high life
tial quantities of lignin, would be suitable for long-term use
expectancy, and about 70 % or higher for medium life expect-
and, for economic reasons, desirable. The user would decide
ancy. File folder stock was not included in this study.
whether yellowing during light long-term storage, or both,
X1.4 Paper may be procured on the basis of a standard would be acceptable. These needs should be agreed upon
sample, on the basis of requirements other than those listed in between the buyer and the seller and written into standards
this specification, or one or more of the requirements may be intended for the purpose.
waived. In order to obtain the degree of life expectancy
required, it is very important that the pH requirements of this X1.6 Appearance properties, such as color and reflectance
specification, or the aging requirement in X1.3, be met for the (brightness, and whiteness, etc.) that might be affected by light
type and grade of paper purchased. and by dark aging may be important to the user. The traditional
use of bleached chemical wood or cotton has been recognized
X1.5 Historically, specifications for paper for permanent as a way to preserve appearance properties.
records have limited fiber sources to those that would result in
no more than 1 % lignin in the papers. The use of alkaline X1.6.1 As fiber sources are less uniform than in the past, it
papermaking technologies, including the use of alkaline sizing is desirable to measure the effect of light and of dark storage on
and alkaline fillers, may change the situation for some appli- the appearance properties of paper.
cations. Although yellowing occurs during light exposure and X1.6.2 Test Method D 3424, Procedures 3 and 7, may be
dark storage, laboratory data indicate that the strength proper- used for evaluating fading properties.

REFERENCES

(1) Barrow, W. J., Deterioration of Book Stock; Causes and Remedies, (4) Wilson, W. K., and Parks, E. J., “Comparison of Accelerated Aging of
The Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA, 1959. Book Papers in 1937 with 36 Years Natural Aging,” Restaurator, Vol
(2) Wilson, W. K., Harvey, J. L., Mandel, J., and Worksman, T. L., 4, 1980, pp. 1–55.
“Accelerated Aging of Record Papers Compared with Normal Aging,” (5) Dahl, S., “Evaluation of Condition of Manifold Papers in File,” NBS
TAPPI, Vol 38, No. 9, 1955, p. 543. Report 10429 , June 7, 1971.
(3) Van Royen, A. H., “Comparison of the Accelerated Aging of
Cellulose with Normal Aging at Room Temperature,” Association (6) Hanson, F. S., “Resistance of Paper to Natural Aging,” The Paper
Technique de L’Industrie Papetiere Bulletin , 1957, p. 223. Industry and Paper World, February 1939, pp. 1157–1163.

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